It’s almost time to close the curtains on 2019. As you thank God for another year and get ready to enter a new one, take these 20 challenges as invitations to mature and strengthen your journey with Jesus.
"I want to become an athlete of influence!"
Keep a gratitude journal. Make a practice of taking time to write down what you’re grateful for. It’s a tangible way to witness God’s faithfulness in your life.
Be courageous with your platform. Speak up even when your voice shakes and when others are silent. Hold those who inflict harm accountable. Stand up to a bully. Walk with someone through their wilderness moments when few others will.
Step outside your comfort zone. Seek to understand those who subscribe to other faith traditions, have different family dynamics, hold different identities and see the world through a different lens.
Restore relationships. Prayerfully seek to repair relationships. Release the grudge you’re holding. It’s some of the hardest work we can do as humans and it certainly takes time, but it’s work God calls us to.
Recognize someone’s gifts apart from their physical ability or job function. We all benefit from being fully seen and loved. Try giving affirmation to someone like, “I’ve seen (insert character trait) in you, and it’s been encouraging to witness that,” or “You are really good at (insert skill),"or “ You help others (insert skill).”
Prioritize rest and recovery. In a no-days-off sport environment, take a timeout. Be intentional about your recovery days and see rest as an act of worship. Set aside time to pause, reflect on who God is and what God is revealing to you.
Ask faith questions big and small. You know those faith questions you’re shy about asking? Ask them. There’s a good chance others are wondering too. Reach out to trusted ministers who can give you guidance.
Pray for your teammates. Pray not only for them, but for how your heart toward them may be transformed.
Take an extended media break. This one is a tough ask, but give yourself space to detach from what’s happening on your timeline, in your DMs, or in your newsfeed. Use that time to ask questions about your relationships with technology, take inventory of how you use social media and how you can be more purposeful with your platform.
Spend extended time studying a book of the Bible. Take a month or two to dive deep into a book of the Bible that you’ve always wanted to know more about. Study the book’s cultural context, the book’s author, the intended audience, etc. Invite some friends to invest time in the Word with you.
Pour into someone. Someone is waiting on your mentorship. Make 2020 the year you go before the Lord to ask for guidance on who you can come alongside in their faith walk.
Switch up your playlist. Look through your top played songs on your playlists and think about the messages they’re conveying. Do they help or harm your walk with God? There’s edifying music out there you can nod your head to. For starters, check out our Spotify playlist.
Have a game plan for setbacks. Your life plans will shift in ways you won’t expect. Think about what it means to live a surrendered life and how you will trust God when the injury bug bites, when challenges arise, or when times get tough.
Share your testimony. Your story and how God is continuing to write it matters, not only to you, but to the people who hear your story and see God reflected in it.
Take the sports idolatry test. Check your motives.
Make a difference. James 2:26 reminds us that faith without works is dead. Think of ways to embody your faith this year and to directly impact the people and communities around you.
Think intentionally about legacy and what you want yours to be.
Go on mission with Athletes in Action! Check out opportunities to participate in mission projects, sport team tours, and internships with us throughout the year. We would love to have you join us on mission!
Happy New Year and may you grow closer to God in 2020.